5-year-old Pennsylvania Girl Suspended for Threatening to use Toy Bubble Gun
A five-year-old girl was suspended from her Pennsylvania school after a school official overheard her “threaten” to “shoot” a classmate with her toy bubble-making gun. The girl’s backpack was searched and the toy was not in her possession. The kindergartener was initially suspended for 10 days for what the school deemed “a terrorist act.”
The girl’s parents met with school officials. The offense was lowered to “threatening to harm another student” with a 2 day suspension. The girl was still mandated to obtain a psychiatric evaluation. The family attorney, Robin Ficker, said “It’s laughable…This is a girl who had no idea about killing or what happened in Connecticut.”
School officials said the girl made the threat on January 10th while waiting for the school bus. The family attorney then says the next day the girls were “interrogated” by school officials. By the end of the “discussion” the girl was crying. A teacher called out the girl in front of the class and said police might get involved.
The girl’s family wants an apology from school officials. They tried transferring her to another school, but were unsuccessful because of the infraction on the girl’s school records.
I think it’s pretty ridiculous that a 5-year-old would be initially suspended for 10 days for this. For her to also be mandated to undergo a psychiatric evaluation was a bit extreme. School officials should not have discussed the incident with her without her parent’s presence. I also don’t think the teacher should have embarrassed the child in front of her classroom.
I think school officials are extremely anxious with any perceived threat after the Sandy Hook shooting. I just think it’s a bit absurd to say a 5-year-old wanted to engage in a “terrorist attack.”
What do you think?
Was her punishment appropriate?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate